A 97-year old retired teacher – grandmother, heading a family of 230 persons – was hale and hearty. On February 4, 2015, after lunch, she developed chest pain and giddiness. Her family doctor directed her to KG Heart Hospital within half an hour.

When she arrived, she was promptly evaluated and shifted to the Cardiac Cathlab Surgical Suite.

Dr. P. Nitthiyan, Interventional Cardiologist, and the heart team performed angiogram and angioplasty to remove the blocks to reperfuse the blood into the ischemic myocardium (a condition of insufficient blood flow to the heart muscle via the coronary arteries).

Door to balloon: Door-to-balloon is a time measurement in emergency cardiac care, specifically in the treatment of myocardial infaraction. The interval starts with the patient’s arrival in the emergency department and ends when a catheter guidewire crosses the culprit lesion in the cardiac cathlab. Because of the adage that “time is muscle”, meaning that delays in treating a myocardial infaraction increase the likelihood and amount of cardiac muscle damage due to localized hypoxia, the guidelines recommend a door-to-balloon interval of no more than 90 minutes. However, for this patient, the door to balloon time was only 75 minutes. This is possible in western countries, where there is a highly effective and well-trained environment.

KG Hospital had done it for the first time a few months ago on a 95-year old woman. This time it is a 97-year old lady.

Reperfusion of the heart muscle prevents the heart muscle from getting damaged. Reperfusion is a process of restoration of blood flow to an organ or to tissue. After a heart attack, an immediate goal is to quickly open blocked arteries and reperfuse the heart muscles. It also preserves the pumping function of the heart.

The old lady had seen the entire team struggling to save her life and she was insistent that all of them had their food before she was taken into the cathlab.

Being positive is the ‘trait’ of a doctor; equally so for an ‘elderly lady’ who has the ‘will’ and wish to live.

So happy and pleasant were the relatives and grandsons and granddaughters of the lady waiting outside with folded hands to express their grateful thanks to the team of doctors, technicians and nurses who saved their grandmother in less than 48 hours.

This is a record of sorts in the history of KG Hospital, as the old lady was discharged in 48 hours. It was a heartening experience both for the family and the KG team.

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